Sport, culture and the media at the Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres de Dakar (2010): sport and the democratization of culture or sport as populism?

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In December 2010, Dakar hosted the Troisième Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres (FESMAN), which took for its main theme the notion of an 'African Renaissance'. FESMAN sought to revive a highly utopian pan-Africanism that had been prevalent in the era of decolonisation from the 1950s to the 1970s, but it departed in significant ways from many of the ideas and values that had marked previous pan-African cultural festivals: FESMAN celebrated popular culture and extended its definition to include sport in various manifestations. The aim of this article is to trace the connections that were drawn by festival organisers and the media between sport and the wider artistic, cultural and identitarian agendas at work in the festival. It will also ask what these tell us about the evolution in the understanding of culture and identity in the 44 years between the 1966 and the 2010 festivals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-22
Number of pages13
JournalFrench Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2014


  • African Renaissance
  • pan-Africanism
  • sport
  • Abdoulaye Wade

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